Reading Teacher Writes

Sharing a love of literacy with fellow readers and writers


IMWAYR: November! Reading Until the End of the Year (Part 2)

IMWAYR is a weekly blog hop with kid lit co-hosts Jennifer from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers. The original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It’s a great way to share what you’re reading and get recommendations from others. We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs each week.

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The books I have read recently are all so wonderful! I would recommend any of them to anyone! I finished Change Sings, The Magical Imperfect, Battle of the Bands (story collection), Too Bright To See, Ezra and the Mouse: The Search for Lafayette, and Say It Out Loud. I listened to Taste. (I dreamed of traveling to Italy to eat all that wonderful food for myself!) Now I’m starting the next set of titles and that should take me through the end of the year. So much to read! So little time! (And don’t look at my Goodreads account. It’s not updated. I really need to do better with tracking next year.) I’ll be attending NCTE’s Annual Conference this week and I’ll be off for Thanksgiving next week, so I won’t post next Monday. Stay tuned…the first week of December I’ll be back with more reading fun. Happy Holidays!

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?


IMWAYR: Book Mail!

The book mail I received today is FIRE! Thank you Elly Swartz and Paula Chase for the wonderful gifts, which will go to students soon. I can’t wait to show them these awesome titles!

I will finish listening to Charming as a Verb tonight. It’s such a good book! (No spoilers here!) Then tomorrow on my commute I’ll start The Trial of the Chicago 7 on Look at all those narrators — an all-star line-up! I’m looking forward to this one. (The movie is on Netflix, but I’ll wait for that until after the book.)

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?


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Book Review: Give and Take by Elly Swartz

I was honored to receive an advanced reader copy of Give and Take by Elly Swartz (thank you, #booksojourn and Macmillan Publishers) and I was inspired! If you haven’t yet, pre-order this phenomenal middle grade novel. You won’t be disappointed.

About Give and Take: Maggie is a caring 12-year-old who loves her family and friends. Her daily life includes trapshooting with her friends at school (with her dad as the coach) and helping to care for Isabella, the family’s foster baby. Maggie has 2 brothers, as well, who give her a run for her money. Maggie would love to call Izzy her sister, but mom and dad made it clear that this is a temporary arrangement.

“Temporary” haunts Maggie — her grandmother recently passed, and didn’t remember her in the end. This devastates Maggie, and the thought of giving up another family member is too much. Maggie is obsessed with remembering every conversation, encounter, and memory that is important to her. Maggie doesn’t want to make the same “mistake” as her grandmother, so she collects artifacts in boxes and places them in her closet and under her bed. Even baby Izzie’s sock and pacifier sit in a new box of memories.

When Mom finds Maggie’s overwhelming secret stashes, she is more than concerned about the anxiety that has taken over her daughter’s mind. With the help of a doctor, family, and friends, Maggie must learn to cope with life’s give and take. With Izzie leaving to go to her forever family soon, it’s not going to be easy for Maggie to let go of anything.

Why I Loved Give and Take by Elly Swartz: I learned about the sport of trapshooting, child hoarding, and more about life as a foster family member. I was rooting for Maggie (and her friends) the whole time, and also got to relive a little bit of middle school (for better or worse!). This story is one that appeals to readers of all ages.

Why You Should Read Give and Take: Everyone will find something in common with Maggie, Mom, Dad, or her brothers. The family dynamics are realistic and well-written. The back matter includes information and resources that help families; I love “further reading” opportunities.

This book is an inspiring story of family, friendships, and growing up. Read Give and Take — take the story into your heart, and give the book to your friends when you’re done reading. (Due from FSG Books for Young Readers on October 15, 2019)